There’s one common denominator that can make or break any meeting with a Ministerial or Departmental office – human beings.

People’s personalities and personal styles are unknown variables that can have a decisive impact on how a meeting unfolds. However with such a limited time to meet with Ministers, MPs, and Ministerial or Departmental staffers, it can be hard to work out exactly what makes the person you’re meeting with tick.

While there are various respected personality tests, the Myers-Briggs system is one of the most common for a good reason - it is the most accurate in analysing ‘types’. According to this system, the top five personality types make up over fifty five percent of any given population.

This week we look at these top five personality types and how to spot them.

‘The Nurturer’ (ISFJ)

Nurturer types are conscientious and dependable. They value stability and traditions and are extremely practical. They have a well-developed sense of space and are highly perceptive of people’s feelings.

You can generally spot this personality type by their tendency to think and reflect before they speak. They won’t rush to respond or interrupt others, and when they do contribute they speak in a logical, linear way using plenty of concrete examples to help people understand what they are saying e.g. ‘that’s just like’ or ‘that reminds me of’.

‘The Caregiver’ (ESFJ)

Caregivers are similar to Nurturers, in that they are warm-hearted and dependable. They feel a strong sense of responsibility and duty, and are interested in serving. However unlike Nurturers, Caregivers often need positive reinforcement to feel good.

This personality type will nod assuringly while looking around the meeting, hoping to find harmonious common ground. They’re careful with their words and want to make others comfortable by relating e.g. ‘I know where you’re coming from’. They arrive on time, leave on time and notice when others look bored or distracted. They crave for meetings to remain in controlled safety.

‘The Dutiful’ (ISTJ)

Duty fulfillers are often found in policy areas of an office. They are serious about what they do, quiet and extremely thorough. Every detail matters and even slight inaccuracies must be corrected. They are hardworking and well-organised, driving hard towards identified goals.

This personality type only feels the need to relay facts, without exaggeration or much physical movement. They internalise many emotions, using minimal facial expression and body language, giving them a somewhat stoic appearance. Being expected to discuss or reveal emotions or even humour may be tough for them as they find it uncomfortable.

‘The Artist’ (ISFP)

The ‘Artist’ is loyal and faithful, strongly seeking the positives in anything and anyone. They aren’t interested in controlling or leading and are open-minded, valuing originality and creativity.

This type of person is laid-back and easy-going. They have strong values but keep them under wraps unless they know someone well. However, when their own values are belittled, they may fire up in contrast to their usual laid-back demeanour.

They generally hate being the centre of attention and ‘clam up’ in the spotlight, looking down at their notes or fidgeting with their glasses or pen. When a meeting becomes heated, they may decide to leave or end proceedings.

‘The Guardian’ (ESTJ)

Guardians like being in charge and are practical, organised and uninterested in abstract concepts. They are loyal and hardworking with a clear vision of how things should be handled. They take the lead in a meeting, controlling the agenda and keeping discussions on track.

Guardians think out loud and process their ideas externally, using charts and graphs to help flesh out their thoughts. They’re confident speakers, sometimes appearing tactless or arrogant and never sugar-coating things.

They may not handle personal criticism well and may sigh or rub their forehead, exhibiting impatience when required to be sensitive to other people’s feelings.